Bettina Pickering is “The Emotion Coach”. She helps business leaders, entrepreneurs and other people with dreams and help them change their hard-to-shift habits to reach their goals and aspirations.
What do you do?
My purpose is to help leaders and entrepreneurs break out of overwhelm, self-doubt, negative self-image and self-sabotage to embrace their uniqueness and create a bigger impact even under pressure. Ultimately, it is all about making transformation happen sustainably.
To fulfill my purpose . . .
I work with business leaders and their teams providing management consultancy, leadership training and executive coaching specializing in people change, business culture change, and large scale business transformation.
I mentor entrepreneurs helping them to create a sustainable, on purpose business and life for themselves.
Over the last years, I have become the Emotion Coach. I have developed a powerful emotion coaching methodology and am helping my clients release and let go of underlying traumas, emotional stuckness and become more in tune with their emotions. That is particular important in leadership – without emotional mastery, a leader or indeed, an entrepreneur, will not be successful for long.
I write self-help and business books sharing my insights and approaches – my first co-authored book: Awaken your True Potential from the Dial A Guru series was published in September 2015, and there are a few more books to come.
I keep learning – I love learning, and have kept developing throughout my entrepreneurial career. I strive to get better at what I do all the time.
Give us the big “why” you do what you do?
I have been there myself under pressure, stressed, feeling overwhelmed and unsupported as a leader. I know how debilitating and draining old limitations, traumas, and fear based work pressures can be, especially for women who tend to give too much, expect far too much of themselves and keep going until they are burnt out. I hate to see anyone be less than they could be or suffer when there is so much that can be done to change these patterns for good.
I just love it when my clients have breakthroughs; their faces light up, they are completely in their body and confidently show up as themselves. It is such a gift to be part of someone’s (and that includes teams for me) transformation and know that I was able to make an instrumental contribution to their success.
Give us a daily routine of your normal day.
• After getting up and getting ready in the morning, I cook breakfast and have tea. I just love a cooked breakfast. I often listen to an inspirational podcast or replay of a webinar while I have breakfast to set me up for the day.
• I plan my day – make a priority to do list. I do this at my desk, where I also have my vision board and my affirmation for the week, which I look at every day. I remind myself of my purpose which I have written out as a statement.
• First, I tackle 1 thing that I find difficult or want to avoid.
• I tend to work between 6-10 hours most days, sometimes I have early phone conferences with clients, other times I travel to client’s site.
• When I am working from home, I tend to feed the squirrels mid morning at this of year, do my Qi Gong before my late lunch, and if I can get it in I also go for walk before or after lunch. I check social media and post something interesting I have read spontaneously.
• When I am on client’s site all day I do my Qi Gong and social media in the evenings before I have dinner. When I am home in the evenings, I cook a healthy dinner, usually read something inspiring or listen to a webinar/podcast in the evenings. Sometimes I watch TV if there is something I want to watch.
• I tend to be out at networking meetings or I am meeting up with friends a few evenings a week. When that happens, I just do some Qi Gong standing meditation before going to bed.
What demands do you balance every day in conjunction with your work?
• Friends & family
• My writing – I am the co-author of 3 books, one called Awaken your True Potential is already published. I am currently work on my first book as a solo author.
• My Garden
• My Learning
• My Qi Gong
• House Keeping & Cleaning
How do you feel about women’s “lot” these days?
Whilst we have experienced some amazing changes to women’s rights and equality, I still feel there is a quite a significant unconscious bias in society about women, women’s capabilities and what a woman’s role is. This does have an impact on all areas of life in terms of lower fee rates, more time investment, and more effort.
Yes, I do feel I spend a lot more time than I would like on life admin such as cleaning, house repairs, work admin, requests for different things to do with the business that do not contribute to revenue.
I recently hired a Virtual Assistant to take on more and more of the admin for my business, and am looking at other ways to free up my time from tasks that I do not enjoy and that take up too much of my time.
How I juggle all of these is to prioritise. Some fall by the way side, because at times when I am fully booked with client work, I cannot take on any more. Whilst this is not great for the people affected, I have to make some tough choices so that I can focus on my clients and keeping myself in balance.
How does femininity and Soft Power feature in your business/ career? What does it look like?
Soft Power is included in my website designs, my articles, and the social media post I publish. My femininity is just part of me and features in every life, through my love of movement and my ability to reactivate flow in my clients’ lives and their businesses. I predominantly work through intuition especially when I help my clients to create the business culture they want and make transformational changes that continue to evolve in their businesses. I tend to find a healthy balance the masculine and feminine qualities so that I get the best of both, and am able to work with my clients where they are at.
I surround myself with a lot of different textures in my home office, especially soft velvety ones. I also enjoy looking at the colourful watercolour prints by an Italian friend, Maria Grazia Luffrarelli, that decorate the walls of my office.
What is the most common emotion you feel as a woman on a day-to day basis?
Frustration – it is what inspires me to create change – better processes, better approaches and better tools.
How important do you think vulnerability is in life and career?
Yes, I believe vulnerability is important as it allows others to be vulnerable too and share who they are deep inside, warts and all.
I have been vulnerable in a number of situations, sometimes this was a god sent and inspired the other people to also show their vulnerabilities or offer help. Most of the time, it led to me getting hurt significantly or be rejected, so I am learning to discern where it is appropriate and safe to be vulnerable and what vulnerabilities to share.
What do you do for SoftPlay? How do you look after yourself?
There are times when I don’t. As soon as I notice, I have a question I ask myself every day:
How can I love myself, today?
Recently due to a number of massive IT issues that left me in total about 10 days behind with my various tasks, I had to do a lot of catch up. I must admit I neglected my SoftPlay and looking after myself. I am very fortunate that I have some wonderful neighbours and friends, who almost dragged me away from my work.
I do Qi Gong (Eastern martial art focused on healing, rejuvenation and whole body connection) on a fairly regular basis to keep myself in balance and healthy.
I cook healthy food for myself, and bake my own sourdough bread with sourdough made from scratch (I did keep that up despite working all hours of the day).
I make sure I get enough sleep, as I did learn when I still employed how detrimental chronic lack of sleep can be.
Nature is important to me, so I go for regular walks to soak up water and wood energy – the two energies that really keep me going. I also love experiencing to those precious moments when a leaf falls, when a dog runs up to me and greets me like an old friend, when my squirrel knocks on the cat flap asking for nuts, when I notice a stunning view.
If I have no time for anything, I light candle or burn incense sticks while I work. I also use aromatherapy to create a nurturing work environment for myself.
What I have been neglecting for a while is getting regular massages and facials. I really miss being pampered by someone else and it is high on my list to rectify.
How do you think tapping into your femininity, would impact your relationships with men?
It does have an impact in business – in very traditional environments it can lead to not being selected as a supplier whereas in other more enlightened businesses it is a distinct advantage. To me as long as I am authentically me, I speak my truth, and I am in my power, I will attract the right clients for me. And this also is true for my personal relationships with men.
Do you exercise your #righttobesoft in your workplace? If so, how?
I am my own boss as a company owner. When I work from home, I work flexibly. There are days when I don’t start until 11 am, other times I start early. Sometimes I take time off during the week to visit a friend, an inspiring exhibition or just take a stroll through the park. When I work on corporate clients’ site, I adhere to their work schedules.
I focus on learning – every week, I learn something new or expand my skills in some way or the other. I love learning, it is something that is important to me.
My Qi Gong (Eastern internal martial art focused on healing, flow and whole body connection). I love the flowing movements, the mediation, and the energy this gives me. When it is sunny, I step into my garden and enjoy doing my movements with sun on my back. Beautiful.
I also weave in energy work, Qi Gong based exercises or feminine leadership principles into my coaching, training and consultancy work; in particular when I work with clients to align their business culture, support transformational change or coach senior executives.
What’s one “breakthrough” you have had in your life, that shifted the way you saw things – how did it impact those around you?
There have been so many breakthroughs.
One profound breakthrough was just before I left my employment. After returning from my Christmas holiday with my family, I decided to get clarity about my work situation once and for all. I was no longer happy or fulfilled at my work, it had become a chore. There was also a massive values conflict for me with a number of leaders of the company. Because I really had loved working there for 13 years, I had been dithering and avoiding a decision for at least 6 months.
I turned to my trusted Qi Gong standing forms (a form of mediation where you stand fully aligned and connected to the earth) and a very powerful Celtic process. After setting a powerful intention to get a definitive answer about my work future, I stood for probably close to an hour allowing an energetic conversation to happen in my body, my unconscious, my heart with the mind observing. Using what I now call the ‘Change Weaving’ process, the answers did come in quick succession. They were almost overwhelmingly strong. I felt my whole body vibrating with their truth:
• Quit on 4 January 2010 (that was 3 days away at the time)
• Build your own company
• Follow your purpose
Was I happy with the answers? No, far from it. I was scared to death. I actually wished I could argue with the process and change the answers.
Why? Well, first of all, I didn’t know anything about setting up a companies and being an entrepreneur. I had no other job prospects not having even put the feelers out. And, worst of all, I had no idea what my purpose was!!! Big Problem. I was so numb after working in very fear based, thankless and highly pressurized environment for so many years, that I had no idea how even to begin to discover my purpose. And, apart from that – tiny issue: I had no massive savings.
I chose to trust in myself and the answers I was given. It was frightening, it was exhilarating and it was real.
I did quit on 4th January, I managed to get my company set up as soon as I had served my notice period, and I had some work come to me later that first year out of the blue. Most importantly, I discovered something amazing during that year: my purpose revealed itself that year, and it keeps evolving. As I grow, it grows. As it grows, I grow.
Since then I have been using this process to facilitate a number of my big breakthroughs.
Who do you look up to as a woman?
• Sheryl Sandberg, the author of Lean in
• Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love
• Kendall SummerHawk, the founder of Women in Coaching
• Sophia Bailey, an amazing wealth mentor and entrepreneur
• Heather Picken, a woman on fire!, entrepreneur, author and inspiring business mentor
Where do you look for hope?
In my darkest hours I always connect into the inspiration and embrace of celtic spirituality which is rooted in the natural world. No matter what happens this never fails to lighten my spirits and inspire me to continue on.
Another source of inspiration are the amazing mentors I am connected to – I either call one of them for support or listen to a recording to remind myself that everything is possible, and it sometimes takes a little detour to reach my goal.
What do you tell yourself when times are tough?
The sun will rise again tomorrow. And then I ask a question: What else can I do now? What’s the possibility in this?
What’s the soundtrack of inspiration for you?
Emeli Sandé – Hear all about it.
I just love the determination in her voice and the lyrics calling on everyone to make their voice heard.
Who have you listened to lately that motivated you to take action on something, anything? And why?
Nick Williams, of IamNickWilliams, who suggested I should put my insights, key message and ideas on images and publish them on social media to inspire others. I just loved the idea of creating the interplay between the words and inspiring visual images, so I did it, and now sharing my own insights as well as other inspiring quotes with my connections.
What are you doing to help elevate the women of developing nations?
Even though we believe we live in the ‘developed’ world in Europe and the US, we are still developing in terms of women equality in the workplace and eradicating unconscious bias against feminine qualities and ways of being.
Every year, I gift complimentary mentoring to one or two women who either wish to step up into leadership or who want to set up their own entrepreneurial business. As it happened, the majority of my mentees have come from developing countries. That was not intentional – as I believe in helping elevate and empower women who for some reasons find themselves in a place that does not support them and their unique gifts – no matter whether someone comes from a ‘developing’ nation or ‘developed’ nation.
Who’s voice do you think we need to hear in the One of Many Community?
Hannah Bontle Lecha – a successful business woman and leadership coach from Botswana. She also helps prisoners to change their life. She also just celebrated the publication of her co-authored book.
Katrin Jonas – creator of “BodyWareness” who just published an amazing book about how we can reconnect with our bodies, something a lot of women need to do.
Dawn Campbell – creator of the Dial A Guru book series who is bringing together mainly female authors into amazing community of authors who support each other and share their gifts with the world
You can get in touch with Bettina Pickering here:
Twitter handle: @Bettina_Emotion
Facebook page: Bettina Pickering